Midstate organizations prepare to help many Afghan refugees


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Organizations across the area are helping prepare for the arrival of several Afghanistan refugees and allies who will soon call the Midstate home.

Leaders say they want to help refugees and allies have what they need and encourage others to step in and take action.

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“I can’t stress enough that the Taliban coming back in control, it’s just brutal,” President and CEO of Bethany Christian Services Chris Paulsky said.

Bethany Christian Services plans to resettle 135 Afghan allies and refugees, and of that number, they are planning for 30 refugees and allies to make their way to Lancaster County.

“Regardless of what actions Congress takes, nothing can replace the support provided by neighbors who can demonstrate love and compassion,” Heather Bert said.

The team is striving to make sure refugees have a safe and fresh start when they arrive in the Midstate.

“We are praying for those in Afghanistan who now fear for their lives. As a refugee settlement agency that works with local church and community partners, Bethany is ready and eager to welcome many more Afghan allies and refugees,” regional director Mike Unger said.

And they are not the only ones stepping in to help.

“We know that once the military processes the refugees, that’s when the real need is going to happen,” Regional President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (East Region), Momin Bhatti said.

Bhatti says he and his team have collected bags of several items such as clothes, diapers, and much more.

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is assisting Afghan refugees coming into the USA and we’re doing so because this is part of our faith,” Bhatti said.

He, along with other members, will drive to Philadelphia to drop off items for Afghan refugees. The youth association says they want to see how they can make a difference and help however they can.

“These are times that winter is approaching as well, we are seeing what is the need is it winter clothes baby supplies and different things so that is what we are doing,” Bhatti said.

Both organizations say volunteers are needed and this would help with child care, emergency housing, and transportation.

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